- CIBN Urges CEOs to Address Cybersecurity Challenges
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria has urged chief executive officers to get the essential cybersecurity knowledge that would ensure companies take appropriate actions to secure valuable information assets.
The President, CIBN, Dr Uche Olowu, said this during the industry roundtable for information security stakeholders of banks in Nigeria with the theme, ‘Cyber resilience in organisations’.
According to him, this does not mean that every CEO needs to become a cybersecurity expert, but rather, CEOs should increase their knowledge of core cybersecurity concepts and leverage leadership skills to conceptualise and manage risk in strategic terms, understanding the business impact of risk.
He said, “For financial sector institutions, cybersecurity has become an issue from the top down. Board of directors, chief executive officers and senior executives must ensure that they are making the right decisions about cybersecurity for their institutions.
“Shareholders and company board of directors are now asking questions about companies’ approach to cybersecurity and the readiness to face an attack. CEOs must make it clear that security is not just an Information Technology problem – it is a priority for the business.
“CEOs need to be able to answer tough questions and prove that they are working with the senior leadership team to develop a cybersecurity strategy, and that they understand the cybersecurity landscape and how it can affect key business functions in the company.”
He said that the emergence of financial technology had provided major gains for the finance sector, and innovations such as Artificial Intelligence, Unstructured Supplementary Service Data, robotics, and blockchain technology had improved efficiency, convenience and speed as well as the profit margins.
Despite the obvious benefits provided by financial technology, he said there were also risks of cyber threats and fraudulent activities.
“Criminal activities such as credit card fraud, phishing, Automated Teller Machine fraud and identity theft have increasingly become infamous in banking operations,” he said.
The CIBN boss said that statistics put the cost of cybercrime globally at $700bn annually, a figure projected to rise to about $2tn by 2019, due to the rapid digitisation of consumer lives and company records.
He said, “In the case of Nigeria, about N198bn is said to be lost to the ever-increasing cases of cybercrimes per annum, usually perpetrated through the financial system.
“According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, while a variety of organisations are exposed to cybercrime, the financial sector is particularly vulnerable given its crucial role of financial intermediation in a highly connected global financial system.”
He added, “Nigerian banks or financial services sector companies should no longer ask if they are going to be hacked; they should rather ask when.”